Assessment and development of cultural competence

Eric Robert Mitchell, University of Pennsylvania


The current study examines how the concept of cultural competence may be assessed and developed among mental health professionals, especially those who work with diverse families suspected of child abuse. Leading theoretical models, training initiatives, legal considerations, and assessment measures associated with cultural competence are discussed. These conceptual frameworks provide the foundation for the author's cyclical/contextual model of cultural competence, as well as the author's Cultural Competence Scale (CCS). To examine the validity and reliability of the CCS, the scale was administered to 348 mental health professionals around the Philadelphia area during various workshops regarding cultural competence. Hypotheses accurately predicted that the CCS would be found to reflect three valid and reliable constructs; Cultural Self Awareness, Multicultural Openness to Knowledge, and Cross-Cultural Communication Skill. It was also correctly hypothesized that participants reporting greater contact with other cultures would exhibit higher levels of self-reported cultural competence. Potential implications of such findings are explored, along with future research directions and observations made while collaborating with community mental health systems.

Subject Area

Social psychology|Psychotherapy

Recommended Citation

Mitchell, Eric Robert, "Assessment and development of cultural competence" (2000). Dissertations available from ProQuest. AAI9965529.